R v M - Acquittal In High Profile Child Cruelty Case
Our Serious Crime Solicitors, led by Director Mohammed Zeb, secured an acquittal of a woman of good character who was charged with three counts of cruelty to a child.
The case concerned what used to be known as ‘Munchausens by Proxy’, but is now called ‘Fabricated or Induced Illness syndrome’ (FII). FII is an extremely rare form of abuse which occurs when a parent or guardian of a child exaggerates, invents, or deliberately causes symptoms of illness in the child. In severe cases, the parent may take deliberate steps to induce illness in the child, or manipulate test results to suggest the presence of illness.
Our client was a mother of three children and the allegation concerned her youngest daughter. When her daughter was aged six months up until she was aged twenty three months, our client presented her daughter to numerous medical practitioners with concerns that she was suffering from a number of complex medical conditions. The conditions included seizures, feeding and growth issues.
Following medical investigations a decision was made to admit our client’s daughter to one of the worlds leading paediatric hospitals, Great Ormond Street for EEG monitoring tests. Several world renowned paediatricians examined and monitored our client’s daughter over the following days.
Due to concerns that our client had unnecessarily administered medication to her daughter whilst staying at the hospital she was arrested and accused of deliberately mistreating her daughter.
Our expert Serious Crime Solicitors represented the client from the police station where she stringently denied doing anything to harm her daughter. Our client was charged with three counts of cruelty to a person under sixteen years of age.
The case proceeded for almost three years and our client worked with a dedicated Lawyer throughout this time. This continuity was crucial to reassure a vulnerable client in extremely challenging circumstances.
Stuart Miller Solicitors instructed some of the UK's leading paediatricians, paediatric neurologists, toxicologists and psychiatrists to vehemently defend the client. We also worked with world renowned experts in the field of FII. This work and the Serious Crime Solicitors’ knowledge of complex medical issues resulted in the prosecution discontinuing two of the three charges against our client.
Not content with the result, Stuart Miller Solicitors worked with Ms Lisa Wilding Q.C and Counsel Ms Caroline Carberry of Furnival Chambers to prepare an abuse of process application prior to the trial. This rarely successful legal argument requires comprehensive knowledge of the law to succeed. Following a full day of legal arguments, the Judge agreed that the prosecution should be discontinued and the case was thrown out.
Yet another case that demonstrates Stuart Miller Solicitors' ability to deal with complex medical and legal issues. When clients plead their innocence, they can rest assure that Stuart Miller Solicitors will stop at nothing to defend them.